Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Christmas tree... finally!

On our advent calendar there are always two activity vouchers that the girls just can't wait to get their hands on. The first is visiting Santa at Macy's which came up on the advent calendar a week back. The second is choosing a tree from a Christmas tree farm. They've been waiting so patiently for their second favourite voucher and it finally appeared yesterday.

The long awaited advent voucher




Just like last year we hopped in a zipcar and made our way north to Reindeer Ridge Christmas Tree Farm  near Sebastopol. Unlike last year though when the weather was cold, grey and rainy, yesterday we had a glorious, sunny day. While the cold weather last year made for beautiful wintry photos it also meant that it was too cold to explore the farm and take part in any of the activities on offer. This time around the girls were able to go for a train ride around the farm, ride the zip line and have fun on the playground equipment.

Here's a look at our afternoon at the Christmas tree farm...

First up we grabbed a saw and cart and headed off to choose our tree. Lola thought it would be nice to have a teeny, tiny tree and kept pointing out trees that were smaller than her. We had to keep reminding her that we could only choose a tree with a tag on it and that the little trees had to be left to grow bigger.

Tree hunting

I want that one

Lola was desperate to help push the cart

Lola tries her hand at moving the cart


When we found our perfect tree Kim cut it down with the saw while I held it still. The girls then "helped" Kim load it onto the tree cart and dragged it off to be prepared to take home.

Kim starts cutting down our tree

Lola tries to assist Kim with the tree

Towing the tree cart

Almost there


While Kim went inside and paid for our tree the girls helped the staff get it ready to take home. First they helped put our tree onto a special device that shakes the tree vigorously to remove any creepy crawlies that might be living in it. Then Ava helped pull our tree through the netting bag to keep it compact for the drive home.

Watching the tree shake out the bugs

Ava helps put the tree in the netting bag

On the car ready to go


Once the tree was tied onto the roof of the car we took the girls to check out to other fun stuff on offer. First up they met Santa and were pretty excited when he gave them candy canes. Unlike our visit to see Santa at Macy's Lola was actually keen to get up close to the man in red this time.

Santa's not so scary when he's giving out candy canes!

Happy to see Santa


Then it was time for some cheesy photos around the farm. We also tried to get a nice shot of the girls and I but I didn't realise until later just how bright the sun had been for them. I almost always wear sunglasses when I'm outside so for me it wasn't too bad. Judging by their squinting in the photo they were struggling a little. Oops!

A little bright!

Frosty and Santa

Reindeer and Santa


The train ride through the trees was a highlight for the girls. They absolutely loved it and said it was loads of fun. Kim and I were too big to go on the little train so I'll just have to take their word for it. They certainly looked like they were having fun.

Ready to ride the rails

Off they go

Posing with the driver


On their train ride the girls spotted a playground area with swings and a zipline so we headed there next. They enjoyed the swings and Ava had a great time riding the zipline. Lola was desperate to have a go on the zipline too but she was just a little small.

Tractor tyre swing

Zipping along

A little help from Daddy was needed...

...Plus a big push

Weeeeeee!




I love taking the kids to get a real Christmas tree. This is only the second time that we've done it but it's definitely something that we hope to turn into a family tradition. Back home in Australia where Christmas falls in Summer having a real tree really isn't as common as it is here in the US. Kim and I both grew up having plastic trees at Christmas so the real tree is just as much of a novelty for us as it is for the girls. 

So now we have our Christmas tree for this year and it's all ready to decorate. The girls can't wait to get started with the decorations. I'll have photos of our finished tree coming soon.

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